Korea rejects latest UNSC resolution, vows to continue nuclear buildup

North Korea poses a "clear and present danger" to the US, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said at the Shangri-La Dialogue, Asia's premier defense summit, in Singapore on Friday.

"But the regime has increased the pace and scope of its efforts", he added, alluding to the North's series of nuclear device tests in recent years and an accelerated pace of missile tests seemingly aimed at building a rocket with enough range to hit the U.S.

"The robust, long-standing Japan-U.S. alliance now functions as a public good that contributes to the peace and stability of the region", she said.

The US military said last Tuesday that it "successfully intercepted an intercontinental ballistic missile target" in a test conducted amid concerns over the North's weapons program.

After meeting with President Xi Jinping in April, Trump, who once accused China of "raping" the U.S., praised its leader as a "good man", saying it would be inappropriate to pressure Beijing while Washington is seeking its help with Pyongyang.

The analyst argued that the United States is trying to justify its military budget by introducing North Korea as an important threat.

Russia, who historically is often a deciding factor in security council votes, condemned DPRK behavior, but not without voicing continued disapproval of United States military muscle flexing against North Korea.

Pyongyang conducted the most recent ballistic missile test on May 29, its ninth of the year so far, although it is banned under previous United Nations resolutions from testing nuclear weapons or missile technology and is already subject to multiple worldwide sanctions.

The U.N. Security Council has voted unanimously on Friday to expand targeted sanctions against North Korea after its repeated missile tests.

The US today praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi's emphasis on having freedom of navigation and adhering to the global norms for peace and economic growth, amidst China flexing its muscles in the disputed South China Sea.

The United Nations Security Council vote on a resolution to expand its North Korea blacklist after the Asian state's repeated missile tests, at the U.N. headquarters in NY, U.S., June 2, 2017. "That is our principle position".

Mattis's challenge on his visit is to reassure allies that America can apply pressure on China over its claims in the South China Sea, while at the same time convincing Beijing that controlling North Korea is in its own security interests.

"Whatever sanctions and pressure may follow, we will not flinch from the road to build up nuclear forces which was chosen to defend the sovereignty of the country and the rights to national existence and will move forward towards the final victory", a foreign ministry spokesman told the state-run KCNA news agency, according to Reuters. The US, he said, has used the North Korean issue as a pretext to boost its military presence in South Korea, where it has already stationed troops.

  • Leroy Wright